A month after winning the U.S. Open, Justin Rose still hasn’t settled on an engraver to etch his name into the trophy he brought home from the Merion Golf Club.
But the Englishman already has someone in mind: Garry Harvey, the silversmith who will engrave the name of British Open winner on the claret jug within moments of the final putt dropping Sunday at Muirfield.
“I’m hoping I’ll get a two-for-one deal this year,” Rose chuckled Wednesday. “With the U.S. Open, you get it done yourself. So I’m hoping I’ll get a discount for bulk.”
It would be hard to come up with a better finish to what’s already been an eventful few weeks for Rose. Since capturing his first major, he’s dined with Prime Minister David Cameron, signed hundreds of autographs and watched from the Royal Box as countryman Andy Murray captured the Wimbledon men’s singles final.
And just like Murray, who won the U.S. Open last fall, Rose would love to possess both trophies at the same time, a feat only six golfers — all among the game’s greats — have accomplished in the century-plus history of major championship golf. The roster of that exclusive club speaks to just how tough a task it is: Bobby Jones (twice; 1926 and 1930); Gene Sarazen (1932); Ben Hogan (1953); Lee Trevino (1971); Tom Watson (1982); and Tiger Woods (2000).
“The challenge for me is going to be staying in this tournament, not being dragged back to Merion every five minutes,” Rose said.
“If I’m left alone, just me and my caddie, it’s pretty easy to focus on what I need to focus on. It’s when you have the outside distractions that prevents you from doing that. But when you’re playing a tournament, you’re in a controlled environment and it’s business as usual.”
Rose acknowledged there were only so many similarities from a visual standpoint between the rain-soaked Merion course, located in suburban Philadelphia, and surprisingly dry Murfield, a seaside links course on Scotland’s eastern coastline.
“They’re polar opposite in the sense of how the ball is reacting on the ground, but they’re in the sense of strategy.
“At Merion, I hit a lot of irons off the tee. I played defensively, sort of conservatively, and I felt that was the best way to approach it. ...
“I was lucky that my game plan turned out to be exactly the right one, with 1-over par winning. That’s my challenge this week, to see the golf course the right way.”